Binge Fringe Magazine

NEWS: theSpaceUK Unveils Diverse & Grassroots First Act for EdFringe 2024, Announcing Over 100 Shows

Stalwart Fringe Venue Hub theSpaceUK have recently announced the release of over 100 shows for their EdFringe 2024 season coming this August, again proving a commitment to creative performance from all backgrounds. The venue operator has long been known for curating a programme of wide access, grassroots performers. More than half of the shows within the current batch of on-sale performances at the festival will be performing at a theSpaceUK venue.

More recently, they have garnered a reputation for unprecedented award wins for relatively low-budget and unfunded work – last year seeing performer Xhloe and Natasha win their second Fringe First Award in a row for What If They Ate The Baby? , and Hong Kong Artist Kasen Tsui winning a Fringe First Award for A Funeral for My Friend Who Is Still Alive. Binge Fringe contributors, among other punters and the media, have long found hidden gems among the swathes of shows that attend across their 21 theatres, handing out five stars to many over the years.

We asked theSpaceUK’s Director Charles Pamment, “How is theSpaceUK’s EdFringe 2024 programme aiming to platform underrepresented and marginalised performers?” He told Binge Fringe:

“Programming for EdFest 2024 has been great fun! We’ve been inundated with applications from so many fabulous shows and again look forward to hosting the largest and most diverse programme at the modern festival. We’re hugely proud to give open access participation covering every genre possible across our 21 theatres, all in the best locations, as well as giving audiences a platform to see a variety of work at sensible and affordable prices.”

We’ve had a dive into the first release of shows across theSpaceUK’s venues to attempt to highlight some of the creatives from underrepresented backgrounds who will be attending the Festival this year.

Queer voices stand out as being elevated amongst this first batch of shows, with a number of grassroots and more established performers joining the ranks this coming August. Essa Flett will bring The Selkie’s Wife which garnered a 4* review from Binge Fringe at Dundee Fringe last year, for her bewitching solo folk performance. Alongside, another solo performance captures a Queer Coming-of-Age story in No Frills Theatre Company’s Run.

Taking a different twist on LGBTQIA+ themes, Fishmarket Theatre Co. will offer up Cringe, a sci-fi time-bending story following the creation of the fan-fiction genre. Meanwhile, a Queer Political Coming-of-Age fantasy from a Turkish Playwright will be performed by Peedie Productions in The Sun King.

Women-led voices are also clearly being platformed amongst this first release, with Unthank Theatre Company delivering a debut female-led solo play mixed with poetry in Worm, a tragi-comedy about resentment, rejection, and ‘finding yourself’ later than expected in life. Women’s voices are also amplified in the historical genre, as Ganymede Theatre Company explore the life story of Eleanor Marx in Eleanor, exploring female relationships against the backdrop of revolution and passion.

The impact of Margaret Thatcher and her policies on British Politics is being explored by two creative teams with theSpaceUK this year. Kristen Smyth and Ben Anderson offer up a Transgender reimagining of Shelley’s novel Frankenstein set in 1980 with Cruel Britannia: After Frankenstein. Meanwhile Super-8-Auteur look to parallel historical, political, and social issues under Thatcher with those experienced today in Persistent Shadows.

The first release programme of theSpaceUK’s 2024 EdFringe shows can be found on their website.

Jake Mace

Our Lead Editor & Edinburgh Editor. Jake loves putting together reviews that try to heat-seek the essence of everything they watch. They are interested in New Writing, Literary Adaptations, Musicals, Cabaret, and Stand-Up. Jake aims to cover themes like Class, Nationality, Identity, Queerness, and AI/Automation.

Festivals: EdFringe (2018-2024), Brighton Fringe (2019), Paris Fringe (2020), VAULT Festival (2023), Prague Fringe (2023-24), Dundee Fringe (2023)
Pronouns: They/Them